The Rocky Slope of Custer Skiing

Column by Hal Walter

Ski History – December 1996 – Colorado Central Magazine

The ski slopes loom above Westcliffe like a trophy, a lasting tribute to development gone awry.

It isn’t the only failed ski area in Custer County, just the most visible. Perhaps no other county in Colorado has as many ghost ski areas.

People have tried again and again to make skiing work here and it just hasn’t. The lack of snow in some years — accompanied by the bounty of extreme winds — makes skiing marginal here.

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Skiing with a Shovel: a Paleotechnician in Paradise

Article by George Sibley

Ski History – December 1996 – Colorado Central Magazine

by George Sibley

When I moved to the mountains of Central Colorado, thirty years ago this winter, I imagined myself to be in retreat from “urban-industrial America.”

I arrived in an automobile with the back seat and trunk holding a record player, toaster, boxes of mass-produced clothes and books, and various other standard accouterments of the mass-produced life — enough to have told me, had I been listening, that maybe I wasn’t so much fleeing civilization as advancing it.

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Drilling, Blasting, and Skiing

Article by Steve Voynick

Climax Ski History – December 1996 – Colorado Central Magazine

Not many of us today associate the Climax Mine with skiing. But 50 years ago, Climax had one of the best-equipped ski areas in the entire West.

Organized skiing at Climax began in the 1930s, a time when Climax was fast becoming a legend in American mining. Given the dismal nature of underground work and the long winters at the 11,400-foot-high mine, Climax was always interested in providing outdoor recreation to make life a bit more bearable.

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Holiday Book Suggestions

Review by Martha Quillen

Various Books – December 1996 – Colorado Central Magazine

One thing I like having is all those Caroline Bancroft booklets from Johnson Publishing. Friends who consider themselves serious historians tease me about my fascination with Bancroft’s light, diverting tales — and I have to admit that Bancroft’s treatment of Baby Doe is definitely more of a novel than a history.

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Holiday Book Suggestions

Review by Michael Dzubinski

Various Books – December 1996 – Colorado Central Magazine

Trails Among the Columbine: Salida, D&RG Railroad Town. The most comprehensive book on the history of Salida. 320 pages, 250 historic photographs.

Trails Among the Columbine: The D&RG’s Calumet Branch and the Turret Mining Area. Dick Dixon’s new book on Turret and environs.

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Holiday Book Suggestions

Review by Lynda La Rocca

Various Books – December 1996 – Colorado Central Magazine

I have to admit, I haven’t read any best sellers recently, nor have I stocked up on the latest New Age self-help tomes. So I can’t comment on Marianne Williamson’s last love fest or Melody Beattie’s current methods for disengaging from codependency.

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Ron Adair: Art on a Postage Stamp

Article by Peter Burton

Local Artists – December 1996 – Colorado Central Magazine

“Every time I drove from Buenie back to Dallas, it got harder and harder. ”

This is how Ron Adair, postage stamp designer, expressed his answer to my question: What caused you to move here? We were sitting in Ron’s office-studio in Buena Vista.

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Dog Tales: George’s Pup

Brief by Dave Delling

Animals – December 1996 – Colorado Central Magazine

The major drinking place in Silver Cliff — the place that looks like it doesn’t belong there — was filling up. I sat at the end of the bar, sipping beer while slowly warming after a long day outside. February is usually tough in Custer County and this one was no exception.

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Dog Tales: The Challenge

Brief by Jim Forrest

Animals – December 1996 – Colorado Central Magazine

Before the back-yard fence could be constructed, we tied our German shepherd on a long rope secured by a swivel anchor near the house so that the dog had a large arc from one back corner of the house to the opposite one. After several whip lashes as a consequence of testing the length of the rope, she learned the outer limits of her domain. What she couldn’t cover physically, however, she guarded vocally. Judging from her activity, squirrels were the ones she watched out for the most. In terms of energy spent, they posed the most threat to the homestead.

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Confusion: A liberal or conservative value?

Essay by Ed Quillen

Politics – December 1996 – Colorado Central Magazine

During the past political campaign, the big regional contest was between Ken Chlouber and Linda Powers for the state senate. It was the most expensive state-senate campaign in Colorado history.

Even though I like Ken, I felt quite sad that Linda lost. She worked hard on our behalf.

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Asarco plans to close the Black Cloud

Brief by Central Staff

Mining – December 1996 – Colorado Central Magazine

Mining Ends in Leadville

The Black Cloud, which employed about 120 workers near timberline a few miles east of Leadville, is shutting down. It has been on stand-by since last summer, when production halted on account of problems in the mill.

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TCI replaces PBS with UPN

Brief by Central Staff

Media – December 1996 – Colorado Central Magazine

TCI, Salida’s cable-TV monopoly, has been changing some channels. The new Fox 24-hours news channel replaced CSPAN, Court TV is on only half time to make room for something else, and KRMA, the Denver educational and PBS station, has been replaced by KTVD, a United Paramount Network station featuring a lot of Three Stooges and Jetsons reruns.

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Chaffee County gets a new radio station

Brief by Central Staff

Media – December 1996 – Colorado Central Magazine

KBVC, a new FM station, should be reaching most of Central Colorado by now. It broadcasts from Mt. Princeton at 104.1 mhz and 600 watts.

Mark Elliott, the station’s manager, was still testing when we went to press, so he wasn’t sure how far his signal would reach.

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What we had here was a failure to communicate

Brief by Central Staff

Outdoor Recreation – December 1996 – Colorado Central Magazine

What we had here was a failure to communicate

Like the national forests, the Arkansas River is a realm of multiple uses, and sometimes those uses conflict.

That happened last spring, when upstream tourism and downstream irrigation needed the river at the same time. Upstream wanted low water, and downstream needed high water.

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Hunting for something else

Column by Hal Walter

Outdoor life – November 1996 – Colorado Central Magazine

Through the black timber I could see the golden sunlight reflecting off antlers taller and wider than any I’d ever seen. I crouched and blew twice on the call, trying to imitate a cow elk.

The big bull bugled from about 30 meters away. Then he turned and started toward me, walking quickly and turning his head from side to side in a futile attempt to squeeze his massive rack between the trees.

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It’s time to take local control seriously

Essay by Ellen Miller

Government – November 1996 – Colorado Central Magazine

by Ellen Miller

It’s hard to worry about too many people being on drugs. What’s worse is that too many people have completely lost any sense of reason or perspective and they aren’t on drugs, so what in the world do they blame it on?

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The Whistle Stops Don’t Stop Here Any More

Article by Ed Quillen

Local History – November 1996 – Colorado Central Magazine

by Ed Quillen

These days, presidential campaigns don’t venture into Central Colorado. Pueblo, where Bill Clinton and Jack Kemp have both spoken this fall, is about as close as they get. Denver is a frequent stop — Bob Dole spoke there right after the Republican convention, and Clinton was at Red Rocks on Oct. 12. Grand Junction got a campaign visit in 1980 when Ronald Reagan’s plane touched down there.

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Revisiting the Election of 1896

Article by George Sibley

Colorado History – November 1996 – Colorado Central Magazine

A NATION BROUGHT TO THE VERGE

Revisiting the Election of 1896

The election campaign of 1996 should have been more interesting than it has been so far — and it also should have been more about the way the economy is undermining our democratic principles.

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Are Car Alarms the Best We Have to Offer?

Essay by Martha Quillen

Culture & Politics – November 1996 – Colorado Central Magazine

When it comes to candidates, it’s hard to tell whether they’re outright lying to us, or merely spouting banal rubbish without thinking twice about it. Then again, maybe they’re really deluded.

The Republicans, for example, actually seem to believe that they are fiscal conservatives. But the Republican Party’s devotion to Calvin Coolidge’s strategy — of lowering taxes while limiting government interference in the affairs of business and industry — is not conservative.

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Do liberal and conservative mean anything today?

Letter from Alvin Edlund Jr.

Politics – November 1996 – Colorado Central Magazine

Do `liberal’ and `conservative’ really mean anything today?

Editors:

Since it is a presidential election year, I thought you might find it interesting to know that both Bob Dole and Bill Clinton attend the Methodist Church. Bill Clinton is actually a Baptist, but he has been attending his wife’s church.

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Blame it on the phone company

Letter from Lisa Dolby

Communications – November 1996 – Colorado Central Magazine

Blame it on the Phone Company

Editors:

I can tell right now, this whole thing involving U.S. West [its less-than-stellar service in the hinterlands] is just another right-wing corporate scheme. First, U.S. West is succeeding in undermining rural telecommunications competition by holding out on installing lines in rural areas while they are still rural areas.

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It all comes out of the ground

Letter from Paul Martz

Mining – November 1996 – Colorado Central Magazine

It all comes out of the ground

Editor:

It’s been a few issues since Lisa Dolby’s letter on growth, mining, and what her version of what the economy of the West (outside of California that is) should be, was printed in #27. I was hoping someone other than the “patriot” (issue 28) who didn’t like the magazine anyway, would respond to her remarks. However, since no one else has yet, I will. Although as a “decrepit” baby boomer I don’t really think this chore should fall to me, since my generation supposedly lacks all sorts of intellectual strengths including both work experience and wisdom, according to the sociologists, political pundits, and now apparently Generation X.

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Parents should do their homework first

Letter from Miriam Westbrook

Home-schooling – November 1996 – Colorado Central Magazine

Some Home-School Pointers from an Experienced Parent-Teacher

Dear Editor,

I enjoyed the back-to-school articles in the September issue. And since we are in our eleventh year of home educating our three children, the home-schooling article especially caught my eye. I thought the article was well done and I can add my emphasis that home-schooling should not be undertaken lightly because it is becoming a fad thing to do. It takes an incredible amount of time, dedication and patience. Think it through before you jump in. If it really is for you and you plan well, the rewards will be worth many times more than everything you put into it.

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Localizing the Code of the West

Letter from Mark Emmer

Code of the West – November 1996 – Colorado Central Magazine

Localizing the Code of the West

Editors:

Some suggested local additions to the Code of the West:

The climate varies considerably throughout Central Colorado, from heavy snowfall and long winters in Leadville to Salida’s semi-desert. Reduce your expectations if you’re a serious vegetable gardener — cold mountain nights don’t count as full growing days. When planning your building design and site layout, consider the winter winds, which often blow from mid-morning until dusk and can make outdoor activities unpleasant.

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Incumbents look safe in Saguache County

Article by Ed Quillen

1996 election – November 1996 – Colorado Central Magazine

Incumbents look safe in Saguache County

by Ed Quillen

For Saguache County, the ’96 election sounds about as exciting as watching grass grow. The only local race is for two county commission seats.

“We’ve got two incumbents, one from each party, and each has an opponent from the other party. Pretty much the same old same old,” said Dean Coombs, publisher of the Saguache Crescent.

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It’s a 3-way contest for Custer County commissioner

Article by Jim Little

1996 election – November 1996 – Colorado Central Magazine

3-way race for a parking place at the Custer County Courthouse

by Jim Little

In spite of the problems our quiet Valley is having with National Guard zoomies in our skies, a soft cattle market on our ranches, and a whole slew of newcomers fighting over who can pay the most for the remaining 40-acre ranchettes, we now have our diversions turned to the most popular contact sport of the season, a three-way county commissioner race.

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School bond is the hot issue in Lake County

Article by Ed Quillen

1996 election – November 1996 – Colorado Central Magazine

In Leadville and Lake County, it’s the school bond that matters

by Ed Quillen

In Lake County, the hot item on the ballot is an $8.9 million school bond issue. Letters pro and con have covered acres of the Leadville Herald Democrat in recent weeks, and editor Grant Dunham says “It’s the thing everybody’s talking about.”

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Looks like a close race in Gunnison County

Article by Chris Dickey

1996 election – November 1996 – Colorado Central Magazine

All signs point to a close race in Gunnison County

by Chris Dickey

It’s not difficult to determine that there is a local political race in progress, with Gunnison yards, businesses and cars transformed into a sea of brightly colored billboards espousing one candidate or another. If an impromptu inventory of this signage has any merit, the races for two Gunnison County Commission seats could be close ones.

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No matter who wins, Chaffee will be conservative

Article by Ray James

1996 election – November 1996 – Colorado Central Magazine

No matter who wins, Chaffee will be conservative

by Ramòn Diego

Conservatives are destined to take Chaffee County District 1 and District 2 county commissioner seats next January regardless of who wins the Nov. 5 voting. Both the Republicans (in 1, Ron Leyba of Buena Vista, and in 2, incumbent Frank McMurry, Nathrop) and the Democrats (in 1, incumbent Jim Thompson, who lives just outside Buena Vista, and in 2, Jerry Leewaye, Salida) reside on the fiscally and politically conservative wings of their respective parties.

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Park County Republicans face strong challenge

Article by Daniel G. Jennings

1996 election – November 1996 – Colorado Central Magazine

Democrats could get majority on Park County Commission

by Daniel G. Jennings

Although Park County is traditionally Republican, there’s a good chance two Democrats will be serving on the Board of Commissioners in 1997.

Two of the three commission seats are up for election this year and both are in the Bailey area where most of our county’s population lives. In District Two incumbent Eunice Takatloglou, a Republican, lost the nomination at the Republican Party Convention in April, but was able to get on the primary ballot by petition. Takatloglou came in third in the primary behind Steve Benninghoven and Rosie Wiley.

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How the presidential candidates handled the UP-SP merger

Brief by Central Staff

Politics & Transportation – November 1996 – Colorado Central Magazine

The UP-SP merger, and probable abandonment of the Royal Gorge-Tennessee Pass tracks, appears to be the federal decision in the recent past which will have the biggest effect on Central Colorado. By driving up transportation costs, the merger may crush any hope of economic diversity in our region.

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The Not-so-Smart Growth Awards

Brief by Central Staff

Growth – November 1996 – Colorado Central Magazine

Funny, none of the winners came to accept their awards

Remember Gov. Roy Romer’s “Smart Growth Summit” in 1995? From it emerged 14 guiding principles, such as sustainability, public participation, and coördination of planning. Our governor now issues annual Smart Growth Awards to projects which best follow the principles.

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Teenagers were always troublesome

Brief by Central Staff

Local History – November 1996 – Colorado Central Magazine

Today’s Troublesome Teenagers Are … well, pretty much like their forebears

“We have secured from the Mayor and City Council their consent to have a curfew in Salida.”

So reported Mrs. A.D. Salomson, the city’s humane officer, on Sept. 7, 1948, when the grandparents of today’s Salida teenagers were apparently running at large and bound for no good end.

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The sky at night, is orange and bright

Column by Hal Walter

Prisons – October 1996 – Colorado Central Magazine

Those of us foolish enough to think we are regional intellectuals have found it entertaining to snobbishly describe other Colorado locales as “sacrifice zones.” We’ve made up cute names for these places — The Front Strange, I-70 Industrial Tourism Ghetto, Christian Springs.

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